Man v Machine: Steve and Hyunwoo’s Third Race

The day has come and the video is now out! Just what video? Oh, just an epic battle between two friends across Seoul. In 2010, Hyunwoo Sun and I raced from Dongtan to Gwanghwamun. In 2011, we raced on two separate trails. Up until this point, Hyunwoo and I each enjoyed a victory. So it was time for a tie-breaker match. Something epic. Something amazing.

QiRanger - Hyunwoo Sun - Filming - koreaAs the picture above implies, Hyunwoo and I would be using transportation once more to travel. Ever since the first race, I’ve known I wanted to do more with Hyunwoo. Mainly because he and I are such a good fit for these competitions. We are both highly competitive, yet take a fairly relaxed approached to the races. We also love to film and take our viewers along with us. So since this would be the third such race, I wanted to do something epic and what better way than to pit man against machine.

The idea was simple: race from Yeouido park to Jamsil. One would take the subway and the other would ride a rental bike. I had already ridden the route before for a video, so I was familiar with the physical challenge I was proposing. When I asked Hyunwoo if he was up to it, I was glad he said yes. I asked him to take the subway, since I know he’s familiar with the system and loves it.

So here’s the skinny on the race – The distance was more than 14 kilometers – closer to 16 depending if you believe Runmeter. The last time I did the ride, it took me just under an hour to make the journey. According to the various subway apps, taking Line 2 to Sincheon station from the starting point would take about 55 minutes. It’s then a 1km walk to the finish line (taxis are allowed to make up for the distance). As you can see, it looks pretty close.

Hyunwoo was free to choose any route he wished. I started doing some research and found my preferred route: Line 5 (Yeouinaru) to Line 9 Express (Yeouido) bound for Sinnonhyeon. Then transfer overland to Gangnam Station Line 2 to go the rest of the way. This journey would take 36 minutes, meaning that the total time was closer to 40 minutes. That was a lot of time I needed to shave off my time. So for the weeks preceding the race, I spent lots of time running and doing stairs.

Mikyung (Hyunwoo’s wife) was kind enough to assist in filming, as was Jo, who took a taxi to the finish line, getting their only 10 minutes before the victor. Hyunwoo used his Canon 500D, while I made use of the two GoPro Cameras and the H2 for sound. Unfortunately, the bike was a little bigger than one I had used previously, so it was a little difficult getting everything in place. This is especially with the rear camera on me, where you can see the windsock in frame. Oh well, nothing could be done about it.

Since there was a huge time gap between arrivals (I’m not going to spoil the results here – you’ll have to watch the video), it presented a little editing challenge. So I went for the split screen option and was able to time things up so we both appeared to arrive at the same time. Did you like that?

So one last thing in this post – which is the same as in the video – what’s your favorite way to see your city?

Coming Soon

This past weekend, I met up with a friend of mine…

QiRanger - Hyunwoo Sun - Filming - koreaThe above image is from the set of a new race video I was filming with my friend Hyunwoo Sun of Talk to Me in Korean. The above image gives a good idea of what’s to come… but for more fun… take a look at this:

Excited to see the results of the next race? I am! The video will be out next week, so stay tuned!


Living in a country like South Korea, one finds themselves traveling a lot by bus or train… and sometimes just walking around to the next class. During these times, I like to load up my iPod with a few podcasts to help the time. So I thought I’d take this time to share a few of my favorite podcasts.

First, my friend Kevin has started a new podcasting project called Looks Like Canada. It’s a new weekly series that explores the history, culture, and food of Canada. Kevin’s putting a lot of work into this new series, and if you’re interested learning more about Canada, I really recommend you checking it out.

Secondly, I really think that Talk to Me in Korean is a fantastic resource that continues to pump out wonderful lessons. Best of all, the lessons and the handouts are free. If you’re in Korea or thinking about teaching here, I highly recommend you checking out this podcast series.

Finally, I have to plug my favorite podcast. It’s from NPR and just tons of laughs. That’s right, it’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. What I like about this, is that the show is always fresh and they have some great guests each week. Plus it helps keep me on my toes.

Be sure to check them out. You’ll love it!

Learning Korean!

Since I’ve returned to Korea, I’ve been slowly trying to learn Korean or 한글. I initially tried just using the materials in my phrase book, but it didn’t catch on. I later bought a Korean-English/English Korean dictionary. While that didn’t further my knowledge of the language, it did provide useful when I needed to communicate in a doctor’s office.

Since I was determined to learn Korean this time, I purchased the Rosetta Stone software. I have been very pleased with the program, and I think it’s the best non-course program I’ve ever purchased.

Another great resource I’ve been using has been Talk To Me In Korean. They have a series of podcasts that really help teach one some great conversational and practical Korean skills. They’ve just released their first video on how to read and write the Korean script, and think it’s the best I’ve ever see.

If you’re serious about learning Korean, I highly recommend Rosetta Stone as a paid product and whole-heartedly endorse Talk to Me in Korean as a free resource!

Now see what I can do!!!!

안녕하세요! 제 이름은 스티브 예요. 저는 미국 사람이 예요. 저는 한국 살아요. 저는 영어 선생님이여요.

Hello! My name is Steve. I’m American. I live in South Korea. I’m an English teacher.

If you’re learning Korean, what resources are you learning???